A method of forming and maintaining a low temperature zone around at least a portion of a subsurface treatment area is described. The method includes reducing a temperature of heat transfer fluid with a refrigeration system. The heat transfer fluid is circulated through freeze well canisters and placed in a formation around at least a portion of the subsurface treatment area. An initial temperature of the heat transfer fluid supplied to a first freeze well canister is in a range from about -35 .degree. C. to about -55 .degree. C. At least one of the well canisters includes carbon steel. The heat transfer fluid is returned to the refrigeration system.
The Government has certain rights in this invention pursuant to Agreement No. ERD-05-2516 between UT-Battelle, LLC, operating under prime contract No. DE-ACO5-00OR22725 for the US Department of Energy and Shell Exploration and Production Company.