New York, March 17 (IANS) Oil prices surged as a government report showed US crude stockpiles increased less than expected.

The West Texas Intermediate for April delivery on Wednesday moved up $2.12 to settle at $38.46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for May delivery increased $1.59 to close at $40.33 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange, Xinhua news agency reported.

US crude supplies of last week gained 1.3 million barrels to 523.2 million barrels, 64.7 million barrels more than one year before, said the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its weekly report released on Wednesday.

The declining output from US also buoyed the market. Crude production of the country lost 10,000 to 9.068 million barrels a day last week, according to EIA.

Qatari oil ministry said Wednesday that OPEC and non-OPEC producers will meet on April 17 in Doha to discuss the output freeze.