When people think of BP, they probably associate it with the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill that flowed in the Gulf of Mexico for three months in 2010. But since then, the multinational oil and gas company has been engaged in various lucrative offshore oilfield projects.

On January 2, BP announced in a press release that it had initiated production at the Skarv oil and gas field off the coast of Norway on December 31. This project was just barely squeezed into 2012, a year in which the oil company brought a number of major projects into production.

"The start-up of Skarv is a key operational milestone for BP, adding new production from one of our core higher-margin areas," BP group chief executive Bob Dudley was quoted as saying in the press release.

The oilfield – located 210 kilometers west of the Norwegian coast and hitting depths of 350-450 metres –  is expected to reach 125,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day with a maximum daily rate of 165,000 by the end of 2013. It's purposely built for harsh waters, and includes a highly advanced floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), five subsea drilling templates and a gas export pipeline which will allow export to Europe.

Additionally, the press release states, Skarv has helped fuel job growth and business activity in the area, and with its field life of 25 years, it will continue to help stimulate local economies for years to come.

As lucrative and successful as this particular field can be, there are many risks associated with working in the oil industry. People often put in long hours at isolated locations miles from shore, and accidents can and do happen. That being said, many offshore project managers turn to marine insurance providers with years of valuable experience who can help them find the best rates and ensure that they are covered in the event of an accident.

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