UPDATE 4-Maersk plans $1.7 bln Brazil writedown; sells oilfield stake
* BP, Anadarko, IBV are partners in areas hit by writedown
* Maersk sells 40 pct of Polvo field to Brazil's HRT
* Writedown questions Maersk's oil strategy, analyst says (Adds Wood Mackenzie analyst on Brazil's subsalt plays, paragraphs 8-12)
By Ole Mikkelsen and Jeb Blount
COPENHAGEN/RIO DE JANEIRO, July 8 (Reuters) - Danish oil and shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk moved to shrink its Brazilian petroleum operations on Tuesday, selling its stake in its only producing Brazilian oilfield and saying it will write off $1.7 billion of investments in the country.
The write-off affects two exploration areas, Itaipu and Wahoo, which failed to deliver on oil volume expectations, and the Polvo field, both northeast of Rio de Janeiro in the Campos Basin, Maersk said.
Maersk bought the assets from South Korea's SK Energy Co Ltd for $2.4 billion in 2011. On Tuesday, Brazil's HRT Participacoes em Petroleo SA said it bought Maersk's 40 percent Polvo stake for an undisclosed sum.
If Maersk's assessment of Itaipu and Wahoo is correct, its Brazilian retreat could be followed by its partners in these areas: Britain's BP Plc, U.S.-based Anadarko Petroleum Co and India's IBV Brasil SA, a joint venture between Videocon Industries Ltd and Bharat Petroleum Corp .
"There was significantly less oil than we had expected," Chief Executive Nils Smedegaard Andersen told reporters on a conference call. "In addition, the expectation for the price of oil back in 2011 was more optimistic than today." Continuación...