UPDATE 1-Brazil 2017 subsalt oil rights sale to unlock stalled fields
* Subsalt sale key to develop giant, delayed Carcará area -partner
* More than half of Carcará find outside discovery block -sources
* Bill ending Petrobras subsalt obligation to pass in weeks -Govt (Recasts to emphasize significance of auction to giant Carcará field, comment on sale, size of Carcará outside original block)
By Jeb Blount
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 6 (Reuters) - Brazil on Tuesday said it will sell four areas in its prolific subsalt region by mid-2017 to speed up development of offshore oil and gas discoveries blocked by nationalist energy policies and state-run Petrobras' debt and financial woes.
One of the areas will abut the giant Carcará prospect in the BM-S-8 block in Brazil's offshore Santos Basin south of Rio de Janeiro, Marcio Felix, the energy ministry's oil and gas secretary designate, told reporters in Rio de Janeiro.
"Without this sale, Carcará can't be developed," said a senior official with a company that owns Carcará resources.
While there is no official estimate for the size of Carcará, partners in the group, including state-led Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, Portugal's Galp Energia SPGS SA, and Brazil's Barra Energia and QGEP Participações SA, have said it rivals Brazil's 8-billion-barrel Lula field.
With enough oil to supply all the world's needs for nearly three months, Lula is one of the world's largest discoveries in four decades. The subsalt is a region near Rio where about 100 billion barrels of oil are trapped deep beneath the seabed by a layer of mineral salts. Continuación...