Offshore drilling units in the Port of Cromarty Firth, Scotland. 

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U.K. lawmakers are considering a ban on new oil exploration licenses in the North Sea as a move away from fossil fuels, a step that could hit jobs and the Scottish economy, the Telegraph

reported.

Britain is considering options that include ending permits in 2040, and an immediate temporary pause in licensing, the newspaper reported. Its also possible that there will be no changes.

The U.K. has a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and is increasingly looking to renewables for a greater share of energy.

Oil output from the North Sea has dropped since the turn of the century as fields have got older. Still, the region is crucial for Scotlands tax revenue and creating jobs. Some production from the area also make up the global Brent benchmark pricing.

About 39% of the 270,000 jobs in the U.K that the oil industry supports are in Scotland, according to the Telegraph.

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