BAKERSFIELD, CA, April 19 /CNW/ - Ivanhoe Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: IVAN and
TSX: IE) and INPEX CORPORATION, Japan's largest oil and gas exploration and
production company, have signed an agreement to jointly pursue the opportunity
to develop a heavy oil field in Iraq that Ivanhoe Energy believes is a
suitable candidate for its patented HTL(TM) heavy oil upgrading technology.
In late 2004, Ivanhoe Energy signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU)
with the Iraqi Ministry of Oil to evaluate a specific, large heavy oil field
and its commercial development potential using Ivanhoe Energy's HTL(TM)
technology. Since that time, Ivanhoe Energy has carried out a detailed
analysis and has generated data regarding the applicability of its HTL(TM)
upgrading technology for the development of the field. The necessary approval
by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil for INPEX CORPORATION'S participation has been
received. Additional details about the project are protected under
confidentiality agreements and will be released as permitted and appropriate.
The agreement between INPEX and Ivanhoe Energy provides INPEX with a
significant interest in the venture, with Ivanhoe Energy retaining a majority
interest. Both parties will have joint leadership participation in the pursuit
of the opportunity. The agreement requires a payment by INPEX to Ivanhoe
Energy as a contribution towards Ivanhoe Energy's past field studies and
related costs. Should Ivanhoe Energy and INPEX proceed with the development
and deploy Ivanhoe Energy's HTL(TM) technology, certain technology fees would
be payable to Ivanhoe Energy.
"We are very pleased to be involved in the pursuit of this opportunity,"
said Kunihiko Matsuo, Chairman of INPEX CORPORATION. "Additionally, we are
interested in supporting the development of Ivanhoe Energy's HTL(TM)
technology, which is expected to have the potential to improve the economics
of heavy oil production the world over."
INPEX CORPORATION, Japan's designated national flag oil and gas
development company, is engaged in oil and gas exploration and production
activities worldwide, including Asia and Oceania, South America, the Middle
East and the Caspian Sea regions.
Joe Gasca, Ivanhoe Energy's President and CEO, said, "Our HTL(TM)
technology is the foundation for this partnership with INPEX CORPORATION. This
agreement is a significant milestone for Ivanhoe Energy as we establish the
relationships to build a strong and sustainable heavy oil business based on
our unique technology."
"Success in establishing these commercial relationships parallels the
significant progress we have made in the advancement of our HTL(TM) technology
as we accelerate plans for full commercial deployment," continued Joe Gasca.
"This long term opportunity, which combines Ivanhoe Energy's enhanced oil
recovery expertise with our patented HTL(TM) technology, complements a number
of other initiatives that we have underway that focus on both the Canadian oil
sands and heavy oil basins in other parts of the world."
Leon Daniel, Ivanhoe Energy's Deputy Chairman, said, "This strategic
partnership between Ivanhoe Energy and INPEX CORPORATION combines our patented
HTL(TM) heavy oil upgrading technology with the technical and financial
strength of Japan's largest upstream oil company, including its advanced oil
recovery technology. This is an important step for us in the competitive
pursuit of a project of this magnitude."
Ivanhoe Energy intends to use its proprietary, patented heavy oil
upgrading technology (HTL(TM)) to upgrade the quality of heavy oil and bitumen
by producing lighter, more valuable crude oil at lower costs and in
smaller-sized plants than conventional technologies. The process also produces
by-product energy that can be used to generate steam or electricity.
Ivanhoe Energy will host a conference call today, April 19, 2007, for
investors and analysts at 4:30 p.m. EDT (1:30 p.m. PDT) to discuss this
announcement. The conference call may be accessed by dialing toll-free
1-866-540-8136 in Canada and the United States, or toll 1-416-340-8010 in the
Toronto area and internationally. A simultaneous webcast of the conference
call will be provided through www.ivanhoeenergy.com and
www.newswire.ca/webcast. If you are unable to participate in the call it will
be archived for later playback by dialing toll 1-416-695-5800 and entering the
pass code 3220803 followed by the number sign, or via www.ivanhoeenergy.com.
The archived playback will be available until April 23, 2007.
Ivanhoe Energy is an independent international heavy oil development and
production company focused on pursuing long-term growth in its reserves and
production using advanced technologies, including its proprietary heavy oil
upgrading process (HTL(TM)). Core operations are in the United States and
China, with business development opportunities worldwide. Ivanhoe Energy
trades on the NASDAQ Capital Market with the ticker symbol IVAN and on the
Toronto Stock Exchange with the symbol IE.
FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This document includes forward-looking
statements, including forward-looking statements within the meaning of the
Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements
include, but are not limited to, statements concerning the potential benefits
of Ivanhoe Energy's heavy oil upgrading technology, the potential for
commercialization and future application of the heavy oil upgrading
technology, the potential application of new configurations of the technology
and other statements which are not historical facts. When used in this
document, the words such as "could," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend,"
"may," "potential," "should," and similar expressions relating to matters that
are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Although Ivanhoe
Energy believes that its expectations reflected in these forward-looking
statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties and
no assurance can be given that actual results will be consistent with these
forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results
to differ from these forward-looking statements include the potential that the
HTL(TM) process to upgrade heavy oil and bitumen may not be commercially
viable, the conflict in Iraq may hamper our HTL(TM) project objectives, we may
not be able to secure an agreement with the Government of Iraq for the
development of the heavy oil field in Iraq, INPEX CORPORATION may elect not to
proceed to a definitive agreement, competition from oil companies throughout
the world and other risks disclosed in Ivanhoe Energy's Annual Report on Form
10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on EDGAR and the
Canadian Securities Commissions on SEDAR.
For further information:
For further information: Cindy Burnett, (604) 331-9830, Website: