This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Ivanhoe Energy Successfully Upgrades Heavy Oil From Its Pungarayacu Field In Ecuador To Pipeline Quality

Tests demonstrate wide operating range of Ivanhoe Energy's HTL TM (Heavy-to-Light) technology

CALGARY, May 5 /PRNewswire/ - David Dyck, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ivanhoe Energy Inc. (TSX: IE) (NASDAQ: IVAN) and Dr. Michael Silverman, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer today announced that heavy crude oil extracted from Ivanhoe's IP-5B well in the Pungarayacu field in Block 20 in Ecuador has been successfully upgraded to local pipeline specifications using Ivanhoe Energy's proprietary HTL upgrading process. The successful tests demonstrate the flexibility and robustness of the HTL upgrading process to convert diverse heavy crude feedstocks into more valuable and marketable, pipeline-ready synthetic crude oil. In addition, these tests help position Ivanhoe Energy for full-scale heavy oil operations in Ecuador and in other countries having similar heavy oil characteristics.

Ivanhoe Energy drilled its first two appraisal wells in the Pungarayacu field in 2010. This followed a 26-well appraisal drilling program in the 1980's carried out by Petroecuador, which provided valuable preliminary data on the field but did not include thermal recovery and hence did not produce any oil for characterization and testing.

Ivanhoe Energy's goals for the initial wells in Pungarayacu were to add to its preliminary understanding of the reservoir, to carry out thermal recovery tests, and to extract heavy oil for characterization and upgrading tests using its proprietary HTL upgrading process.

Ivanhoe Energy drilled its second well, IP-5B, at the southern end of the Pungarayacu oil field in Block 20. Following thermal operations, heavy crude was extracted and test volumes were sent to Ivanhoe Energy's HTL Feedstock Test Facility (FTF) in San Antonio, Texas. These heavy crude volumes were successfully processed and converted to a product that would meet pipeline specifications in Ecuador and would have a higher value and greater marketability than the raw heavy crude.

"This successful processing test confirms the capabilities and flexibility of our HTL upgrading technology", said David Dyck. "We believe our HTL process provides Ivanhoe Energy with a unique capability to help the Government of Ecuador, and other governments and heavy oil owners around the world, develop this important resource in a cost-effective and environmentally-responsible manner".

Ivanhoe Energy's technical team is pleased with this result given the specific characteristics of the crude samples that were obtained from IP-5B. The crude gravity is similar to Athabasca bitumen, at approximately 8 °API, however other characteristics are quite different and present specific upgrading challenges. This included higher residual oil (heaviest fraction of the crude), metals, viscosity, solids, and water. In order to deal with these challenges, the FTF was calibrated and customized to suit the feed, and the processing was successful. The input heavy crude, with a gravity of approximately 8°API, was upgraded to approximately 17°API, while the viscosity of the feed was virtually eliminated and the metals significantly reduced. All of this was accomplished with an overall liquid yield of 88%. These results were from Ivanhoe's first well of recovered volumes and as such represents an early test result. Ivanhoe anticipates that improvements in technical attributes, including API, will continue to advance as progress is made on the overall Ecuador project. This would be consistent with improvements achieved in the Tamarack Project also operated by Ivanhoe.

"In recent years, we have dramatically improved the overall performance and capabilities of the HTL process from its early stage design," said Dr. Silverman. "Over the last twelve months we have focused deliberately on making the process as flexible as possible so we can handle different and more challenging crudes. This preparation served us well when processing the heavy crude from well IP-5B."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.66 -0.09%
FB $118.57 0.84%
GOOG $698.30 0.76%
TSLA $241.82 0.44%
YHOO $36.53 -0.19%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,891.16 +117.52 0.66%
S&P 500 2,081.43 +16.13 0.78%
NASDAQ 4,817.5940 +42.2360 0.88%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs