Ivanhoe Energy successfully processes Athabasca bitumen at its Feedstock Test Facility in San Antonio, Texas

    Tests confirm earlier data and validate Ivanhoe Energy's Heavy-to-Light
    (HTL) assumptions for its projects in Canada and Ecuador

    HOUSTON, May 4 /CNW/ - Dr. Michael A. Silverman, Executive Vice
President, Technology, of Ivanhoe Energy Inc. (TSX: IE; NASDAQ:   IVAN), today
announced that Ivanhoe Energy has successfully processed Athabasca bitumen at
its newly commissioned Feedstock Test Facility (FTF) in San Antonio, Texas.
These FTF tests, which used processing configurations similar to those
anticipated for identified commercial projects, provide additional validation
of the Company's economic models for the Tamarack Project in Canada and the
Pungarayacu Project in Ecuador.
    The FTF is a state-of-the-art, multipurpose HTL testing facility that is
being used for three primary purposes. First, the FTF is supporting the
engineering and design of commercial HTL facilities for the Tamarack Project
in Canada and the Pungarayacu Project in Ecuador. Second, the FTF will test
heavy oil from other target projects around the world which are under
evaluation. Third, the FTF will generate representative commercial grade
product for marketing discussions.
    The data generated in these recent Athabasca bitumen FTF tests, which
were run in operating modes closely aligned with target project operations,
has very good correlation with the extensive data generated in Ivanhoe
Energy's Commercial Demonstration Facility (CDF) in Bakersfield, California,
as well as in previous test units. These correlations include liquid yields,
coke yield, viscosity destruction, and reduction of acidity, sulfur and
    "Our first two months of experience operating our new FTF has provided us
with great confidence in the robustness of the operating parameters we are
assuming in our economic models", said Dr. Silverman. "In addition, these
tests provide significant hard data that support our engineers and AMEC, our
Tier-1 contractor, as we work toward completion of the basic engineering
designs for commercial facilities".
    AMEC is a major international engineering firm based in London, UK, with
operations worldwide. It has revenues of over (pnds stlg)2.6 billion
(approximately US$4 billion) and employs over 22,000 people. AMEC has
extensive experience in refineries and oil and gas processing. AMEC is
currently completing a basic engineering design package for Ivanhoe Energy for
the Tamarack integrated oil sands project in Alberta, Canada.

    FTF Background
    The FTF was installed last December and was commissioned in March. It is
located at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas. SwRI is
a world-class technology center that operates testing facilities for numerous
leading oil companies, as well as other technology-intensive organizations
such as NASA, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense.
    The FTF has supplanted the CDF in Bakersfield, California as Ivanhoe
Energy's principal testing ground for its proprietary HTL heavy-to-light oil
    The purpose of the CDF was to confirm processing yields and product
quality data that had been generated from pilot work in the period 1998-2001,
and to do this at a large scale. These tests were focused on the core "hot
section" of the process and were successfully concluded with a run of
Athabasca bitumen in mid 2007.
    Compared with the CDF, the FTF is a fully functional, third generation,
HTL processing facility incorporating standard front-end and back-end
processing capabilities. The FTF is a very close analogue to a full-scale
commercial HTL facility and is capable of operating under a wide range of
conditions including the actual proposed commercial modes for the Tamarack
Project in Alberta and the Pungarayacu Project in Ecuador.

    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 anticipated production capacity of
proposed HTL plants. When used in this document, the words such as "could",
"plan", "estimate", "anticipate", "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 possibility that the company will be
unable to raise financing in the future for any of its projects or to repay
acquisition financing interest or principal, the potential that the company's
projects will experience technological and mechanical problems, new product
development will not proceed as planned, the HTL technology to upgrade bitumen
and heavy oil may not be commercially viable, market acceptance of the HTL
technology may not be as anticipated, Ivanhoe Energy's lack of history in
developing commercial HTL opportunities, 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 the reserves, the risk associated with doing business in
foreign countries, environmental risks, changes in product prices, our
availability to generate cash flow and raise capital as and when required,
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: Investors Contact: Ian Barnett, (647) 203-6588;
Bill Trenaman, (604) 688-8323; Media Contact: Bob Williamson, (604) 688-8323;
Website: www.ivanhoeenergy.com

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