oil explosion
© U.S. Coast Guard
Tampa, Florida - University of South Florida scientists say they discovered a second oil plume in the Gulf of Mexico arising from BP's broken oil well on the gulf floor.

The scientists concluded that microscopic oil droplets are forming deep-water oil plumes, CNN reported Monday. The second recently discovered plume was in the northeastern gulf; the first plume was found by Mississippi scientists in May.

"These hydrocarbons are from depth and not associated with sinking, degraded oil but associated with the source of (BP's) Deepwater Horizon wellhead," USF Chemical Oceanographer David Hollander. "We've taken molecular isotopic approaches, which is like a fingerprint on a smoking gun."

BP did not comment on the report, but previously denied underwater oil plumes exist, CNN said.

"The oil is on the surface," BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward said. "There aren't any plumes."

However, CNN reported that BP Managing Director Bob Dudley said, "We're all absolutely taking these ideas seriously and looking at them."

USF scientists said they were unsure about the size of the plumes.

"There are indications this is fairly widespread," Hollander said. "There is probably more than one leg of this plume."