Alliance represents another significant step to commercialize HTL
CALGARY, March 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Ivanhoe Energy (TSX: IE) (NASDAQ: IVAN)
and SBM Offshore (SBM) are pleased to announce they have formed a
global strategic alliance (Alliance), combining their respective
expertise to create Floating, Production, Upgrading, Storage and
Offloading vessels (FPUSO's).
The two companies have combined their respective technologies and
experience to produce a first of its kind design for offshore
facilities that will economically produce and upgrade heavy oil from
offshore fields with crude oil quality down to 10°API gravity, or lower. "We expect this combination of technologies to
become the pre-eminent method for producing and upgrading heavy oil at
offshore locations around the world," said Michael Wyllie, SBM Chief
Industry experts have estimated that offshore heavy oil resources exceed
500 billion barrels recoverable. Given the global abundance of such
oil deposits and depleting conventional oil supplies, this Alliance
creates significant potential for the offshore heavy oil sector.
SBM is a publicly traded, world leader in providing offshore Floating,
Production, Storage, and Offloading (FPSO) vessels. With a market cap
of over US$ three billion and over 7,000 employees, SBM currently has
around 1 million barrels of throughput per day from a fleet of 16
production systems in operation world-wide.
Ivanhoe Energy's Heavy-to-Light (HTL) process is a partial upgrading technology that drastically
reduces the viscosity of stranded heavy oil resources and produces a
high quality synthetic crude oil that commands greater value from
refineries around the world. In addition to creating operating
efficiencies, the technology will greatly improve the economics of
heavy oil development. HTL's small footprint and modularization
capability makes installation on FPSOs possible.
Moreover, by providing a source of lighter oil on the FPUSO, some of
this fluid can be re-circulated back to the subsea wells, providing a
robust solution to overcome the flow assurance challenges of subsea
heavy oil wells. This important feature can be an enabler for heavy
oil field developments, especially those in deep water.
"Ivanhoe Energy and SBM collaborated over the last two years to develop
this new concept," said Dr. Michael Silverman, Ivanhoe Energy Chief
Technology Officer. "In 2012, with engineering support from AMEC
Engineering, we completed the conceptual design of an offshore FPUSO
facility that will upgrade up to 60,000 barrels per day."
The Alliance is exploring a number of potential business models and
applications. Given the number of existing and potential FPSOs, this
Alliance is another important avenue to commercialize the HTL process
in the near term.
Ivanhoe Energy is an independent international heavy oil exploration and
development company focused on pursuing long-term growth in its
reserves and production using advanced technologies, including its
proprietary heavy oil upgrading process (HTLTM). Core operations are in Canada, United States, Ecuador and Mongolia,
with business development opportunities worldwide. Ivanhoe Energy
trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol IE and on
the NASDAQ Capital Market with the ticker symbol IVAN. For more
information about Ivanhoe Energy Inc. please visit www.ivanhoeenergy.com.
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 the potential for commercialization and future
application of the heavy oil upgrading technology and other
technologies, statements relating to the continued advancement of
Ivanhoe Energy's projects, statements relating to the timing and amount
of proceeds of agreed upon and contemplated disposition transactions,
statements relating to anticipated capital expenditures, statements
relating to the timing and success of regulatory review applications,
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 Company's projects will experience technological and mechanical
problems, new product development will not proceed as planned, the HTLTM technology to upgrade bitumen and heavy oil may not be commercially
viable, geological conditions in reservoirs may not result in
commercial levels of oil and gas production, the availability of
drilling rigs and other support services, uncertainties about the
estimates of reserves, the risk associated with doing business in
foreign countries, environmental risks, changes in product prices, our
ability to raise capital as and when required, our ability to complete
agreed upon and planned asset dispositions, competition and other risks
disclosed in Ivanhoe Energy's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on EDGAR and the
Canadian Securities Commissions on SEDAR.
SOURCE: Ivanhoe Energy Inc.
For further information:
Manager, Corporate Communications
(403) 817 1108