The ban was put into effect by the Environmental Protection Agency in November. At that point, the EPA faulted the oil company for its "lack of business integrity."
The New York Times reported Wednesday the lawsuit filed in Texas marked a turn in the company's approach to the aftermath of the oil spill.
"We want everyone to know that we are digging and well prepared for the long haul on legal matters," BP Chief Executive Officer Robert Dudley said July 30.
BP Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary on the same day said BP was looking for "closure" on the oil spill that included an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that included $4.5 billion in fines.
BP had already taken $42.4 billion in charges related to the oil spill, the Times said.
Although BP has sold some of its Gulf of Mexico assets, its biggest concern currently is the ban on bids for new leases for new oil wells.
"We believe that the EPA's action here is inappropriate and unjustified as a matter of law and policy, and we are pursuing our right to seek relief in federal court. At the same time, we remain open to a reasonable settlement with the EPA," BP said in a statement.
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