A system for heating a hydrocarbon containing formation is described. A conduit may be located in an opening in the formation. The conduit includes ferromagnetic material. An electrical conductor is positioned inside the conduit, and is electrically coupled to the conduit at or near an end portion of the conduit so that the electrical conductor and the conduit are electrically coupled in series. Electrical current flows in the electrical conductor in a substantially opposite direction to electrical current flow in the conduit during application of electrical current to the system. The flow of electrons is substantially confined to the inside of the conduit by the electromagnetic field generated from electrical current flow in the electrical conductor so that the outside surface of the conduit is at or near substantially zero potential at 25.degree. C. The conduit may generate heat and heat the formation during application of electrical current.
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.