Dr. Robert Graham, Co-Inventor of Heavy Oil Upgrading Technology, appointed Ivanhoe Energy Chief Technology Officer

    BAKERSFIELD, CA, March 12 /CNW/ - Ivanhoe Energy Inc. (NASDAQ:   IVAN and
TSX: IE) has appointed Dr. Robert Graham as Chief Technology Officer for its
proprietary HTL heavy oil upgrading technology.
    Dr. Graham is the co-inventor of the HTL technology and has been a member
of Ivanhoe Energy's Board of Directors since April 2005. He developed the
original Rapid Thermal Process (RTP(TM)) underlying Ivanhoe Energy's HTL
technology in the early 1980's, applying it initially to the biomass industry,
where he built a successful commercial business. Dr. Graham is stepping down
as President and CEO of Ensyn Corporation, the company he established and has
led for over 20 years, in order to assume this new role with Ivanhoe Energy.
    Dr. Graham's appointment will be for one year, and during the first six
months he will be based in Bakersfield, California. He will focus on advancing
Ivanhoe Energy's HTL capability for full commercial operations, including the
development of HTL configurations for specific commercial opportunities,
liaising with AMEC, Ivanhoe Energy's tier one engineering contractor, and the
continued development of HTL intellectual property. In addition, Dr. Graham
will oversee the continued development of Ivanhoe Energy's technical team,
including the hiring of a successor Chief Technology Officer.
    "Having dedicated access to Dr. Graham's scientific and technical
expertise is a tremendous opportunity for us in the commercial development of
our HTL Technology," said Joe Gasca, Ivanhoe Energy's President and CEO. "His
direct experience in commercializing this process in the biomass industry will
be a valuable complement to our technical team."
    Dr. Graham said, "I am very pleased to have the opportunity to lead
Ivanhoe Energy's HTL technical team as we prepare for full commercial
deployment. In particular, I look forward to the continued development of
alternative commercial HTL configurations that we have recently identified, as
well as working with AMEC and helping to build the Ivanhoe Energy technical
    Dr. Graham initiated the HTL technology in the early 1980's, under the
name RTP(TM). The RTP(TM) technology was commercialized in 1989, converting
biomass (wood residues) to fuels and chemicals. During the 1990's, Ensyn
designed, installed and operated a series of increasingly large commercial
biomass facilities in the U.S. and Canada and today has seven biomass
facilities in commercial operation. This business was spun off to Ensyn Group
shareholders before the Ivanhoe Energy merger.
    In the late 1980's, Ensyn successfully demonstrated the ability of RTP to
upgrade, at bench scale, heavy-grade petroleum. In 1998, having scaled up and
commercialized the RTP(TM) technology using biomass feedstocks, Ensyn returned
to petroleum applications, developing a pilot plant in Canada, and
subsequently the Commercial Demonstration Facility in California. Ensyn merged
its petroleum business with Ivanhoe Energy in 2005.
    Ivanhoe Energy's proprietary, patented heavy oil upgrading technology
(HTL) upgrades 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 is an independent international oil and gas 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). 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, potential advancements to 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 process to
upgrade heavy oil and bitumen may not be commercially viable, competition 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:

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