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Press release from CNW Group

Ivanhoe Energy announces significant natural gas discovery at Yixin-2 well on Zitong Block in China

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ivanhoe Energy announces significant natural gas discovery at Yixin-2 well on Zitong Block in China08:03 EST Tuesday, December 21, 2010Initial flow rates of up to 13 million cubic feet per day recordedCALGARY, Dec. 21 /CNW/ - David Dyck, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ivanhoe Energy Inc. (TSX: IE, NASDAQ: IVAN), Robert Friedland, Co-Chairman of Ivanhoe Energy's China-focused subsidiary, Sunwing Energy Ltd., and Gerry Moench, President of Sunwing, today announced a significant gas discovery at Sunwing's Yixin-2 well in Southwest China.Gas from the well flowed at rates of up to 13 million cubic feet per day, and averaged 9 to 10 million cubic feet per day during the initial 24-hour test period. Gas is flowing from the Xu-4 Formation, a well established gas-producing formation in the region."We're very pleased with these initial flow rates," Mr. Dyck said. "The rates recorded from the Xu-4 Formation demonstrate the discovery's strong potential and are incentive for Sunwing to continue with further development of the Xu-4 formation, and other structures in the Zitong Block."Following initial flow and pressure tests, the well has now been shut-in for pressure build-up. Sunwing's 659,840-acre (1,031-square-mile) Zitong Block is in the Sichuan Province; the oldest and one of the most productive gas-producing regions in China. Sinopec and PetroChina have made significant gas discoveries from the Xu-2, Xu-4 and Permian formations in adjacent blocks."It has taken over ten years of perseverance and the application of industry-leading experience and know-how to reach this point," said Mr. Friedland. "Demand for natural gas in China is continuing to out-pace supply and now Sunwing Energy is in an excellent position to help supply this burgeoning market on very favourable commercial terms through an established collection and distribution system."Technical teams from Sunwing and PetroChina are working to develop a strategy to evaluate the Yixin structure, as well as the potential for further discoveries elsewhere on the Zitong Block.Sunwing is the operator of the Zitong exploration block in Sichuan and holds a 90% Contractor Interest in a Petroleum Contract with PetroChina Company Limited. Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company of Japan holds the remaining 10% Contractor Interest.Ivanhoe Energy Inc. is an independent, international heavy oil development and production company focused on pursuing long-term growth in its reserves and production using advanced technologies, including its proprietary, patented heavy to light upgrading process (HTL™). Core operations are in Canada, Ecuador, China and Mongolia, with business development opportunities worldwide. Ivanhoe's shares trade on the NASDAQ Capital Market with the ticker symbol IVAN and on the Toronto Stock Exchange under 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 estimated quantities of gas in each target in the Guan structure, the planned total depth of the Zitong-1 well, the anticipated amount of time required for, and the estimated cost of, drilling, testing and casing the well, the schedule for commencement of drilling the Yinxin-2 well and other statements which are not historical facts. 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 and Sunwing Energy believe that their 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, the potential that the company's projects will experience technological and mechanical problems, 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 associates 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 files with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on EDGAR and the Canadian Securities Commissions on SEDAR.For more information about Ivanhoe Energy Inc. please visit our web site at www.ivanhoeenergy.com.For further information: Contact: David Dyck: 1 (403) 817-1138 Dorreen Miller: 1 (403) 817-1108 info@ivanhoeenergy.com