Abstract In today's business world, oil companies cannot be productive and competitive, and thus, will not survive without taking the supply chain management concepts into account. Consequently, the management of a crude oil supply chain (COSC) is increasingly receiving substantial importance. The growing number of papers and books on this topic is a further witness of this fact. To foster insight into issues intertwined with COSC problems, this paper is devoted to an extensive review of mathematical programming models in this context. The classification approach for this review is based on a taxonomy framework. In this framework, ongoing and emerging challenges surrounding the strategic and tactical decisions of COSC problems are investigated. As a main goal, the gaps of literature are analyzed to recommend possible research directions.