UPDATE 1-Brazil's OGX abandons projects as fears of collapse rise
* Tubarão Azul oil fields to stop producing by next year
OGX to cancel ship orders, pay OSX $449 mln compensation
(Recasts with details)
SAO PAULO, July 1 (Reuters) - Brazil's OGX Petroleo e Gas SA will return some offshore oil field prospects and scrap capital spending plans to preserve cash as it seeks to ease investors' concerns that it may collapse.
The embattled company controlled by billionaire Eike Batista suspended the development of the Tubarão Tigre, Tubarão Gato and Tubarão Areia offshore oil fields, according to a securities filing on Monday.
The three wells at a fourth field, Tubarão Azul, could stop producing oil as soon as next year, OGX said, adding it won't invest any more in the area.
The Rio de Janeiro-based company also asked sister firm OSX Brasil SA to stop building some platforms as the Tubarão Tigre, Tubarão Gato and Tubarão Areia fields were also declared not economically viable. OGX will pay $449 million in cash to OSX in compensation.
Since March, OGX bonds due in 2018 and 2022 have steadily lost value. Since June 5, they have tumbled to less than one-third of their face value, signaling increasing chances of a default.
In May, Batista sold 70.5 million shares in OGX for $57 million, cutting his stake to 59 percent from 61 percent, selling for less than a third of what he has promised to pay for new shares.
The promise to buy new shares, known as a put option, requires Batista to buy up to $1 billion of OGX stock at 6.30 reais a share by April 30, 2014 if the OGX board thinks it is needed.
Fitch Rating Service downgraded the debt of OGX to "CCC," meaning it is at high risk of default. Selling stock below the put price raised speculation Batista doesn't have the cash to honor his promise.
(Reporting by Silvio Cascione and Asher Levine; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)