Appearing on no less than three major networks Wednesday, BP Chief Operating Officer Doug Suttles continued to deny the existence of oil plumes underneath the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.
Government and university scientist confirmed Tuesday that they had found large plumes of oil, according to The New York Times.
The tests, the first detailed chemical analyses of water from the deep sea, show that some of the most toxic components of the oil are not necessarily rising to the surface where they can evaporate, as would be expected in a shallow oil leak. Instead, they are drifting through deep water in plumes or layers that stretch as far as 50 miles from the leaking well.
But Suttles seemed to disagree. "There's yet to be anyone who has found any significant quantities below the surface. Whether that's just below the surface, or at deep levels," he told ABC's Elizabeth Vargas.
"We're hearing scientists say there are huge plumes below the surface. Are you denying that still?" Vargas asked.
"Well, what I can tell you is, no one yet has found any concentrations that measured below the parts -- or higher than parts per million. So I think it may be depending on how you're defining this. But what I can tell you -- and I looked at this data -- is that we have not found any significant concentration of oil below the surface," replied Suttles.
Suttles seems to be echoing comments made by BP CEO Tony Hayward last week.
"The oil is on the surface," said Hayward. "There aren't any plumes."