US firm Marathon’s efforts to exit Iraq’s Kurdistan Region have run into another bump in the road. While it successfully sold its 20% stake in the KRG’s 21,000 b/d Sarsang to US operator HKN in Q3 (new structure: HKN 62% op, Total 18%, KRG 20%), elsewhere progress has been reversed. Marathon had agreed with Canada’s Shamaran for the latter to purchases its 15% at the 30,000 b/d Atrush field in June (MEES, 15 June). But Emirati operator Taqa has blocked the deal, Shamaran announced on 18 November. Shamaran already has a 20.1% stake in the block and didn’t provide a reason for “Taqa’s unreasonable refusal to provide consent.” Shamaran says it “is now engaged in a new bidding process” for the asset but that there is no guarantee that any bid will be successful.