Crude prices rose on Thursday as Norwegian state oil group Statoil said it was preparing to shut down all production on the Norwegian continental shelf from the start of next week.
"The announced lockout will take effect on Monday, July 9, at 24:00 hours (2200 GMT), and will halt all production on the NCS," the company said in a statement that lent support to crude futures before an ECB rate decision.
The lockout will begin just over two weeks into a massive strike by more than 700 North Sea oil workers over pensions.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August jumped $1.80 to $101.57 a barrel in London.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for August won 68 cents to $88.34 a barrel.
Prices rose Thursday "on a mix of central bank easing hope and on-going strike in Norway which is hampering both production and loading from the country," said Sucden Financial Research analyst Jack Pollard.
The oil market was also looking ahead to the release of official weekly energy inventory data due Thursday, a day later than normal owing to the July 4 celebrations.