This was originally published on RealMoney. It is being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.
There was a report earlier from a Turkish news source that Kazakhstan is considering moving its oil through Russian pipelines and not shipping it to Baku for transport through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline.
Currently, Kazakhstan ships 500,000 barrels a day by tanker across the Caspian Sea to the BTC pipe and is half the capacity of that pipe. This is the pipe that goes through Georgia to Turkey.
This is only one of the "reassessments" we will surely see as former Soviet satellites consider the newly aggressive Russia and the events in Georgia and South Ossetia. Kazakhstan is one-third Russian ethnically and never sought membership in NATO as its geography makes Russia the natural security partner.
But this is just the beginning. The Kazakhs had considered being part of a new 440-mile underwater pipe through the Caspian from Aktua to Baku, but that is probably up in the air.
That pipeline would have cost over $3 billion and, as events seem to indicate, been under Russian influence. The pipeline would save $3 billion, which would have needed Western financial participation. That's now problematic.
Kazakhstan does ship 200,000 barrels a day eastward to China and look for China to try to reach into the region and become more influential. Look also for the US to attempt a greater rapprochement with China to offset growing Russian influence.
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Vincent Farrell Jr. is chief investment officer for Soleil Securities Group and a regular guest on CNBC and other national print and broadcast media.
Prior to joining Soleil in August 2008, Farrell was a principal of Scotsman Capital Management. Before that, he was chairman of Victory Capital Management of Cleveland and chairman of Victory SBSF Capital Management in New York. He was a founding partner of Spears Benzak Salomon & Farrell, which was acquired by KeyCorp in 1995. Vince held a variety of positions in his 23 years at SBSF, including chief investment officer, and he served as the portfolio manager on a number of the firm's largest client relationships.
Prior to joining SBSF, Vince spent nine years at Smith Barney as a vice president, sales.
Vince graduated from Princeton University in 1969 and received his MBA from the Iona College Graduate School of Business in 1972.