If Property and Casualty (If P&C) Insurance has temporarily pulled out of underwriting energy insurance through its management company Gard Services AS.

The company said it was evaluating its position and would not take out new exposures in the meantime.

Its decision to suspend energy trading comes after the loss of a Petrobras-36 oil rig off the Brazilian coast last week. If P&C has a 12.5% share in the rig and a net retention of US$5m (£3.5m), with additional costs for reinstatement of Gard Services' reinsurance protection.

“We started reassessing our strategy on energy underwriting levels on March 18 and are planning to make a decision within two weeks” said executive vice-president Helena Dyrssen. “Until then we have decided to stop.”

If P&C has more than 2.5 million customers and offices in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

It was formed in December 1999 when Skandia and Storebrand merged.

Cox Insurance has also recently withdrawn from energy underwriting.

A set of EU directives, the first in 1997, has deregulated the energy market, but is widely regarded as having left it more unstable.