The oboe has a characteristic sound that can often sing through an orchestra, due to it's unique timbre. Unlike the flute, the lower notes are louder, and it loses volume as it ascends. It's highest notes are very thin in quality and will not cut through an orchestra.
Compared to the other woodwinds, the oboe has a smaller effective range. I recommend staying mostly in the staff.
The Oboe works well with other instruments. In its upper register, it can function as a "3rd Flute". It also is an excellent soloist due to it's unique color and ability to cut through the orchestra.