ConocoPhillips reports new Kuparuk drill site producing ahead of schedule

ConocoPhillips reported Monday its Kuparuk drill site on the Alaska North Slope has begun producing oil two months ahead of schedule.

Known as Kuparuk Drill Site 2S, the $475 million project is the first new drill site at the Kuparuk oil field in more than 12 years, the company said in a news release Monday.

At peak production, it's expected to add 8,000 barrels of oil per day to the trans-Alaska pipeline, which has for years seen declines in the volume of oil flowing through it.

Development of the drill site was first announced in April 2013, said ConocoPhillips Alaska spokeswoman Natalie Lowman.

Production was originally supposed to start in December, but "efficient execution and re-engineering" allowed it to begin earlier, she said.

The site is at the southwest section of the Kuparuk oil field, the nation's second-largest.