Energy Blast – March 28, 2012

French oil giant Total has admitted, according to Bloomberg, that an emergency well may be needed to stem the leak at its North Sea Elgin platform, an operation that would take at least six months.  Presidents Obama, Medvedev, and Nazarbaev of the United States, Russia and Kazakhstan have issued a joint statement explaining how a Soviet-era nuclear test site in Semey, Kazakhstan, has been the subject of highly successful clean up operation.  Reuters reports that a senior Russian Energy Ministry official has proposed slashing crude oil export duty in 2014.  US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has told the press that Washington is working with Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers to ensure that any disruptions to oil supply caused by sanctions on Iran will be adequately managed.  Gazprom has this week announced that its recently created Swiss-based subsidiary, Gazprom Marketing and Trading, plans to explore Israel’s Tamar offshore natural gas deposit.