Ivanhoe Energy Inc., one of the companies in the stable of financier Robert Friedland, said yesterday it will pay $105 million for oilsands properties held by Talisman Energy Inc. as it moves toward developing its own oilsands project.

Ivanhoe said it has signed a preliminary agreement with Talisman for the purchase of three leases in the Athabasca oilsands region near Fort McMurray. Two of the properties are estimated to contain about 300 million barrels of bitumen, a tar-like form of oil, while a third has not been assessed.

Talisman, which has steered clear of oilsands projects in favour of conventional operations, will have the right for three years to acquire a 20 per cent interest in the operation.

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