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Ivanhoe Energy Inc. has sold its U.S. oil and gas operations to Seneca South Midway LLC, a subsidiary of Seneca Resources Corp., for approximately $40-million (U.S).

Seneca Resources Corp. is the exploration and production arm of National Fuel Gas Company .

Vancouver-based Ivanhoe Energy says the sale is consistent with its goal of focusing on its heavy-to-light heavy-oil projects, including the Tamarack Project in western Canada and a project in Ecuador.

The sale includes all of Ivanhoe Energy's oil and gas exploration and production operations in the United States.

As of June, 2009, these assets produced approximately 595 net barrels per day of oil in California and Texas. The sale also includes certain exploration acreage in California.

"This sale allows Ivanhoe Energy to focus our financial and human resources on our true competitive strengths," said chairman and president Robert Friedland in a statement.

"We currently have two world-class heavy-oil projects underway ... and we have significant additional opportunities in our sights."