Dinarta licence is operated by Hess with a 64% interest. Petroceltic and the Kurdistan Regional Government own 16% and 20% respectively.

Petroceltic said that the partners encountered several challenges during the drilling operations in the Shireen-1 exploration well in the Dinarta licence in 2014.

The well reached a maximum depth of 1,430m in Jurassic formations on 26 December 2014 before being suspended.

According to the company, the decision to quit was taken in light of the current low oil price, lack of conclusive well results and the limited time remaining in the current period of the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the Dinarta licence.

Petroceltic CEO Brian O’Cathain said: "Petroceltic’s strategy remains clearly focussed on delivering from its core producing and development assets, whilst maintaining balanced exposure to longer term exploration led growth wherever possible.

"In light of this, and the current oil price environment, the decision to withdraw from Kurdistan is the right one for the business."

Petroceltic plans to exit non-core geographical areas such as Greece and the Black Sea region and to focus on its core operations in Algeria and Egypt, Irish Examiner reported.