A system for heating a subsurface formation is described. The system includes an elongated heater in an opening in the formation. The elongated heater includes two or more portions along the length of the heater that have different power outputs. At least one portion of the elongated heater includes at least one temperature limited portion with at least one selected temperature at which the portion provides a reduced heat output. The heater is configured to provide heat to the formation with the different power outputs. The heater is configured so that the heater heats one or more portions of the formation at one or more selected heating rates.
The Government may have 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.