Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd Appears To Have A Major Advantage Over Its Peers

A company that has caught our attention is Advantage Oil & Gas Ltd. (NYSE: AAV) , a pure-play with a production mix of 95% natural gas to oil, with the lowest operating costs in the world-class Montney region (see Figure 1 below).

What intrigues us most about Advantage is its lean operations and organic growth strategy, as well as the fact that it is one of the only producers that owns and operates all of its plant and infrastructure needs.

With the volatility in natural-gas markets, Advantage has significant risk management hedges in place to protect future cash flows and maintains one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry with a FY2016 debt-to-cash flows of 1.0x, compared to a peer average of 3.0x.

Below is a comparison of the Montney natural gas producers:

Presently, Advantage has a three-year growth plan to boost production by 56% from 221 to 325 mmcfe/d (million cubic feet equivalent per day) funded entirely from its cash flows. In fact, with an average AECO price of @2.95 MCF, the Company will have $110mm cumulative cash surplus over the lifetime of the project development. To support this growth, Advantage plans to expand its plant processing to 400 mmcfe/d, complete 19 wells, and has hedged its future production. If worst comes to worst, the Company has an undrawn $247mm credit facility that offers significant financial flexibility.

Below is Advantage's growth plan in graphic form:

Over the last three years, Advantage has increased annual production by 74% to 203 mmcfe/d and reduced operating costs per mmcfe by 44% to $0.27 in 2016. This astounding track record and management experience creates a strong foundation for Advantage Oil & Gas’ continued industry leading low-cost structure and makes its current expansion project virtually risk free.

Led by CEO Andy Mah, Advantage is well positioned to benefit from not only higher natural gas prices, but also increasing production and management’s ability to continuously improve and lower operating costs.

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