Winter Data Acquisition Program Initiated
CALGARY, Jan. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Ivanhoe Energy (TSX: IE; NASDAQ: IVAN) announced today that Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) finalized its review of the Tamarack Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and deemed it complete, pursuant to Section 53 of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA).
Ivanhoe Energy's Tamarack project is one of two key heavy oil assets in its current portfolio. Achieving regulatory approval for the Tamarack project is a critical step in achieving the Company's business plans.
The regulatory review process for Tamarack began in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the receipt of this completeness determination marks a major milestone in the process. "We are pleased that AESRD has completed its review of our Environmental Impact Assessment and that it, and the other government departments it represents, will have no further Supplemental Information Requests," said Ed Veith, Senior Vice President, Canadian Projects.The Company is currently in discussions with local stakeholders to resolve identified issues. Successful completion of these discussions, followed by an Order in Council from the Government of Alberta, positions the Company to move forward with the implementation phase of the Tamarack project. The company anticipates completing these remaining milestones near the end of the first quarter 2013. To maintain Tamarack's implementation timeline a winter data acquisition program is underway. This program will provide valuable seismic and drilling information to assist in the optimal placement of Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) well pairs. The Company intends to install its proprietary Heavy-to-Light (HTL) process as part of the Tamarack project to enhance overall project economics, create operating efficiencies and produce a synthetic crude oil that is easily transported in pipelines and avoids costly and volatile heavy oil discounts. Ivanhoe Energy is also currently engaged in activities to commercialize the HTL technology, and to finalize a partner for Block 20 in Ecuador. The Company anticipates progress on both fronts in the coming months.