In the early stages of the selection process for the hardware to exploit an offshore petroleum reservoir, it is important to be able to identify rapidly which production facility type(s) are likely to deliver the greatest value. This paper explores key features and constraints of the ten common fixed, floating and subsea facility options. Both shallow and deepwater are considered, along with regional variations. It is shown that facility applications may be categorised in a very simple matrix form, with the water depth and well count being particularly important drivers of facility choice. Crown Copyright (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.