London-listed Gulf Keystone Petroleum and MOL Hungarian Oil & Gas are relinquishing their license for the Akri-Bijeel Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

In a statement released on 11 January MOL said that the decision was based on “a comprehensive assessment of the block potential”.

MOL and Gulf Keystone Petroleum signed a termination agreement on 31 December 2015, according to the statement.

In a separate statement the CEO of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Jón Ferrier, said that his company would now be focusing on the Shaikan Block, which is already producing oil.

“We ended the year with stable average daily production rates of above 36,000 barrels of oil per day in December and we started 2016 with receipt of the fourth consecutive monthly payment for December Shaikan crude oil export sales,” Jon Ferrier said.

The Shaikan block, which was discovered in 2009, is situated about 85 km to the north-west of Erbil and covers an area of 283 square kilometres.