On February 25, Maersk Oil UK announced in a press release that it had received approval from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to begin development of the Balloch oil field in the Central North Sea, 140 miles northeast of Aberdeen.

The goal is for the first well to begin producing up to 8,000 gallons of oil per day by April 2013, with a second well currently being planned. The investment for the project is £150 million and the potential for further development will depend on the performance of the first two wells, the total reserves of which are estimated to be nine million barrels of oil. 

According to the press release, the oil field was discovered in 2010 and is located conveniently close to Maersk Oil's Dumbarton development. The company holds a 100 percent interest in Balloch. 

"We are delighted with this approval as our investment in the Balloch field is part of Maersk Oil's ambitious long-term growth strategy in the UK. Following our acquisition of the remaining 30 percent equity in Dumbarton, Lochranza and Balloch in 2012 from Noble Energy, we have been able to fast track the project and maximize production through the Global Producer III FPSO, which is core to Maersk Oil's overall production strategy," Maersk Oil's managing director, Martin Rune Pedersen, said in the press statement.

UK Energy Minister John Hayes added that this kind of development will also help fuel the economy by creating jobs. 

Oil field workers often put in long hours at isolated locations miles from shore, and no matter what kind of precautions are in place, accidents can happen. That being said, many offshore project managers turn to marine insurance providers with years of valuable experience that can help them find the best rates and ensure that they are financially protected.

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