A short-term scheduling problem for crude oil operations is highly challenging. There lack efficient techniques and software tools for its solution. Our prior research shows that it may be solved in a hierarchical way. At the upper level, we find a realizable refining schedule to optimize concerned objectives. At the lower level, a detailed schedule is obtained to realize it. This work attempts to present a three-stage method to solve the the upper level problem from a control perspective. The first stage solves a linear programming problem to determine the maximal production rate. The second one solves a transportation problem to optimally assign crude oil types and volume to the distillers. The last one adjusts and sequences oil parcels. Consequently, the proposed method is computationally efficient. An industrial case study is presented to show the result.