The Houston Chronicle reported that four companies own leases surrounding Mississippi Canyon Block 252, the site of BP's blown-out well.
The article said it's "clear" that at least one company, Llog Exploration, "was in hot pursuit of oil near the Macondo reservoir".
Llog Exploration owns the lease rights for Block 253, on the eastern edge of BP's lease.
Plans filed with the government show Llog was planning to start drilling a test well on April 1 near BP's Macondo well.
None of the four companies owning leases surrounding MC252 would respond to requests for comment by the Chronicle.
The article added, "A company might consider legal action if it thought it could show, for example, that it was denied the ability to produce 10 million barrels of oil worth $60 a barrel," because of the stigma surrounding BP's blow-out.