Royal Dutch/Shell said Thursday it reached an agreement with Spanish oil giant Repsol YPF to exploit natural gas reserves in Iran, although the start of the joint project is at least two years away.
A Shell spokesman told to the press the agreement must still be approved by Iran's 12-member Council of Guardians.
Once approved, additional studies will be conducted before making a final decision, thereby delaying the project by at least two years.
Shell has not commented on the agreement or released investment figures.
The agreement was first reported by Spain's El Pais daily, which said the investment is estimated at some $4 billion (3.25 billion euros).
According to the daily, the project includes the construction of two deep-water platforms in the Persian Gulf, with corresponding processing and storage plants along the coast.
Marketing operations are forecast to commence in 2010.
The project contemplates an annual production of some 7 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 1 million tons of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for sales mainly to Asia and Europe.