HOUSTON—Valero Corp. is close to finalizing a deal to buy a U.K. oil refinery from Chevron Corp. for $2 billion, marking the independent refiner’s first foray into Europe, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The deal was set to be disclosed Thursday morning, but an announcement was delayed because details are still being reviewed, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A Chevron representative wasn’t available for comment. A Valero spokesman declined to comment.

Texas-based Valero has long said it wanted to buy assets in Europe to better take advantage of the trade in fuel products that occurs over the Atlantic. Like other major, integrated oil companies, Chevron is reducing its exposure to the refining business, where profitability is often volatile and margins are often razor thin. Although refiners have recently been able to pass on the rising costs of crude oil to consumers of gasoline and diesel fuel, they will bear the brunt of any resulting declines in demand.

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