* OGX says finds signs of oil in offshore block (Changes dateline, recasts, adds details, background)
RIO DE JANEIRO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Brazilian oil and gas company OGX OGXP3.SA said on Friday it found oil off Brazil’s coast in the BM-C-41 block in the southern Campos Basin, near another recently announced crude discovery.
OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes said it found traces of hydrocarbons in the 1-OGX-3-RJS well in shallow waters of the Campos Basin, where Brazil currently produces most of its oil.
The company reported on Dec. 4 that it had found a 50-meter (164-foot) column of hydrocarbons with net pay of 15 meters from a well in the same block. OGX is the sole owner of the exploration and production concession for that block.
OGX is part of the EBX energy and infrastructure conglomerate owned by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista. It went public last year in what was, at that time, Brazil’s biggest initial public offering.
The company has made a string of oil discoveries in recent months, helping its shares roughly triple in value since the beginning of 2009.
Brazil hopes to become a key world oil producer after the discovery in 2007 of huge crude reserves deep below the ocean floor in an area known as the subsalt province which could contain as much as 50 billion barrels. (Reporting by Brian Ellsworth and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Marguerita Choy)