Advantage Announces 2024 Budget and Updated Three-year Strategic Plan

Source Press Release
Company Advantage Energy Ltd. 
Tags Production/Development, Upstream Activities, Capital Spending, Guidance, Strategy - Corporate
Date November 30, 2023

Advantage Energy Ltd. ("Advantage", the "Corporation", "us", "we" or "our") is pleased to announce our 2024 budget and provide an update as we enter the second year of our three-year strategic plan.

Advantage's 2024 capital program continues our focus on growing adjusted funds flow ("AFF")a per share via high rate-of-return development drilling. Top-line production is planned to grow by 10% with all free cash flow ("FCF")a allocated to our share buyback program.

2024 Budget Highlights

  • AFF per sharea is expected to grow by approximately 20% year-over-year, based on strip pricing dated November 16, 2023 and planned share buybacks.
  • Production is expected to average between 65,000 and 68,000 boe/d and the corporate decline rate is expected to remain at approximately 24%.
  • Cash used in investing activities is planned to be between $260 million and $290 million. Inflation pressures continue to moderate; however, Advantage has included a 10% provision for inflation in its budget.
  • Net debta target is revised to between $200 million and $250 million from its prior range of $170 million to $230 million, commensurate with Advantage's increasing scale and cash flow generation. As of the end of the third quarter, Advantage's net debta was $206.7 millionb. Any increase in debt is expected to be allocated to increasing share buybacks.
  • Approximately 23 net wells are planned with a single rig program, focused primarily at Glacier to maintain production near plant capacity. The remaining wells are planned to target liquids at Wembley.
  • At Progress, construction of a new 75 mmcf/d gas plant is expected to begin in the second half of the year with commissioning anticipated in 2025.

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a  Specified financial measure which is not a standardized measure under International Financial Reporting Standards ("IFRS") and may not be comparable to similar specified financial measures used by other entities. Please see "Specified Financial Measures" for the composition of such specified financial measure, an explanation of how such specified financial measure provides useful information to a reader and the purposes for which Management of Advantage uses the specified financial measure, and where required, a reconciliation of the specified financial measure to the most directly comparable IFRS measure.
b  Excludes Entropy Inc. ("Entropy"). 

Three-Year Strategic Plan Update

  • Advantage will continue to plan for top-line production growth of 10% each year through 2025. Corporate production is expected to exceed 75,000 boe/d by 2025.
  • Cash used in investing activities is planned to remain between $250 million and $300 million per year, including provisions for inflation and infrastructure investments.
  • On average, Advantage plans to drill approximately 25 net wells per year to achieve growth targets. Current tier 1 inventory is estimated at 550 wells, and over 1,000 additional economic locations delineated.
  • The expansion of Advantage's processing capacity has been progressing in phased developments and is expected to reach 500 mmcf/d by 2025. Anticipated spending on processing capacity will continue to be approximately $45 million per year and is included within the capital estimates.
  • Production growth will be managed in conjunction with transportation service growth and hedging, with a focus on non-AECO markets prior to the commissioning of LNG Canada.
  • Advantage expects it will not be subject to cash taxes until calendar 2026.

2024 Guidance Summary (1)(2)

   
Cash Used in Investing Activities (millions) (3)  $260 to $290 
Average Production (boe/d)  65,000 to 68,000 
Liquids Production (%)  ~10% 
Royalty Rate (%)  7% to 9% 
Operating Expense ($/boe) (4)  $3.85 
Transportation Expense ($/boe) (4)  $3.95 
G&A/Finance Expense ($/boe) (4)  $1.90 

Notes: 
(1)  Forward-looking statements and information representing Management estimates.  Refer to Advisory for cautionary statements regarding Advantage's budget including material assumptions and risk factors. 
(2)  Budget and guidance numbers are for Advantage Energy Ltd. only and exclude Entropy Inc. 
(3)  Cash Used in Investing Activities is the same as Net Capital Expenditures as no change in non-cash working capital is assumed between years and other differences are immaterial.  See Advisory. 
(4)  Specified financial measure which is not a standardized measure under IFRS and may not be comparable to similar specified financial measures used by other entities. Please see "Specified Financial Measures" for the composition of such specified financial measure, an explanation of how such specified financial measure provides useful information to a reader and the purposes for which Management of Advantage uses the specified financial measure, and where required, a reconciliation of the specified financial measure to the most directly comparable IFRS measure. 
   

Marketing Update

Advantage has hedged 18% of its forecasted natural gas production in winter 2023/24, along with 16% in summer 2024 and 5% in winter 2024/25. Total exposure to AECO is now less than 15% of our production between now and winter 2024/25.

Looking Forward

Advantage's priority remains AFF per-share growth to maximize shareholder returns. To achieve this, our first priority is delivering high-return organic production growth of 10%; all FCF remains allocated to our share buyback program. Advantage has repurchased approximately 18% of its shares outstanding since the initiation of its buyback program in April 2022c.

Capital efficiency continues to be a key component of Advantage's corporate strategy. In 2024, we expect to deliver production growth and capital spending comparable to 2023 levels, despite a higher production base, thanks to continuously improving well productivity and capital discipline.

Advantage is encouraged by improving natural gas fundamentals in 2025 and beyond due to increasing North American LNG export capacity. With this outlook, the Corporation will focus its 2024 capital program on efficient gas-weighted drilling at Glacier, accompanied by infrastructure spending to support further growth in 2025. Advantage has a range of high-return development options beyond 2025 and will monitor market conditions before formalizing the next phase of our corporate strategy.

With modern, low emissions-intensity assets and ownership of 80%d of Entropy, the Corporation continues to proudly deliver clean, reliable, sustainable energy, contributing to a reduction in global emissions by displacing high-carbon fuels.  Advantage wishes to thank our employees, Board of Directors and our shareholders for their ongoing support.

Advantage looks forward to advancing the Corporation's strategy through the dynamic markets ahead.

Source: EvaluateEnergy® ©2024 EvaluateEnergy Ltd