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Ivanhoe Energy teaming up with SBM Offshore

NEW YORK (AP) -- Ivanhoe Energy, an independent international heavy oil exploration and development company, and SBM Offshore are partnering to speed up development of untapped offshore heavy oil resources.

The companies said Wednesday that their strategic alliance will help to create floating, production, upgrading, storage and offloading vessels. They anticipate that it will create significant potential for the offshore heavy oil sector, particularly since there is an abundance of offshore oil deposits globally and conventional oil supplies are being used up.

As its name implies, heavy oil is denser than the lighter crudes that are used to make gasoline and other refined products.

Ivanhoe's heavy-to-light process will help to create lighter oil that can be used on offshore floating, production, storage and offloading vessels provided by SBM.

The companies said that since there are a number of existing and potential vessels like that, their partnership is another way to commercialize the heavy-to-light process in the near term.

Ivanhoe is based in Calgary, Alberta. SBM is headquartered in Netherlands.

U.S.-listed shares of Ivanhoe Energy Inc. rose 8 cents, or 12.7 percent, to 69 cents in Wednesday afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a range of 41 cents to $1.15 over the past year.