John Teeling, the chairman of exploration firm Petrel Resources, has said Irish oil prospects could pay the entire cost of austerity in December's Budget or €3.5bn a year.
Mr Teeling, whose Petrel has identified a target off the west coast with the potential to produce one billion barrels of oil, said he was hopeful that Ireland's reignited oil industry could produce enough oil to eventually make the country energy independent.
"There is still risk of course," he said. "The only lie detector in the world is a drill hole."
Petrel plans to embark on a road-show to the Far East, China and Middle East with its new technical data. "This is like the wildcatters in the old days," Mr Teeling said. "You take extreme risks and then the big companies come in."
Mr Teeling estimated between €60m and €100m would need to be invested to bring a project to fruition. Petrel's share price rose by up to 350 per cent last week.
Mr Teeling said Petrel had spent about €1m collecting and analysing seismic data to date.