The discovery was reported in the 1-TFE-1-RJS well of the BC-2 block and "revealed a significant oil column" under a 3.6-mile layer of water, the government's oil market regulator said in a statement. No other details were available. TotalFinaElf officials said they were conducting tests in the area and refused to give further comments.
TotalFinaElf is the operator of the block with a 35 percent stake in the project. Petrobras also has a 35% stake, while Shell and Enterprise Oil each hold 15 percent.
The reported oil find comes ahead of Wednesday's start of a two-day auction of oil exploration and production licenses in Brazil. No major oil finds have been made in the country since the opening of its oil reserves for foreign drilling in 1998.