JUNEAU - Alaska's North Slope oil production received a slight boost Monday.
Houston-based ConocoPhillips said it began producing oil at the Qannik field two months ahead of schedule.
By next year it will reach peak production of about 4,000 barrels of oil per day. With oil prices inching toward $150 a barrel, any production is considered helpful.
But that represents about one-half of 1 percent of the 730,000 barrels of oil that flow from the North Slope down the 800-mile trans-Alaska oil pipeline.
The field is a joint venture between the field's operator ConocoPhillips (78 percent) and Anadarko Petroleum (22 percent).
ConocoPhillips said it expects to drill eight wells at Qannick, which is the third satellite field to be developed near the larger Alpine field.
Alpine is located on the border of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska in the North Slope's western region.